At 18-years old, Joe Thompson will become the youngest rider to compete at the Isle of Man TT. The York, Great Britain, native will compete on a Team ILR (Ian Lougher Racing) Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja during both four-lap Monster Energy Supersport races.Thompson began young, first in Motocross, then hitting the tarmac at 11. He won a few a races and set lap records during the Aprilia Superteen series, and won every race he entered in the 600cc Elite Club Championship. He followed this by winning all eight races at the Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough, races during 2016 while competing for Repli-Cast Racing.
During these races, Thompson claimed the Stu Reed Lightweight Trophy, previously won by Lougher and Chris Palmer, on a Moto 3 Honda, and a Phil Mellor Trophy race when aboard a 250cc Yamaha.Riding for Repli-Cast Racing, Thompson finished ninth overall in the 2014 British Motostar Championship scoring points in nine of the Championship races including a best finish of sixth at Oulton Park, a result he equalled in 2015 at Donington Park. For 2016, he moved into the British Supersport Championship where he scored points on numerous occasions.In addition to the Isle of Man TT, Team ILR will also field Thompson in the 2017 British Supersport Championship and at the International North West 200. He’ll also contest the Oliver’s Mount race meetings once more, beginning with the Spring Cup National Road Races, on the 22nd-23rd of April, and, potentially, some Irish road race meetings.Joe Thompson says “Racing at the TT is what I want to do, it is going to take a lot of years to learn and get right, but it’s what we have decided to do and we will keep going until we get it right! My aim is simply to learn the course at race speed, learn what it’s all about and learn what I need to do to be able to win a TT race in later years.”“I have no goals for these first two years other than to enjoy myself. The roads are what I’ve always wanted to race on and after my success at my local road races (Oliver’s Mount) we have decided to go to the roads while I am still young. I know what I need to do and none of this would be possible without all my great sponsors, team, my dad and all my friends, family and supporters.”
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!